It’s been a Monday around these parts. Maybe even worse than a typical Monday. Perhaps a bulleted list is in order. This is what it has looked like so far:
- Laundry chaos (I apparently stacked every outfit I wore in January on the sofa in my bedroom. It wasn’t pretty. It took two hours to pilfer through it and get its contents to their appropriate places and when I finally got to the bottom, I found my hair dryer. Which I have looked for in EVERY CREVICE OF THIS HOUSE, cursing family members under my breath for taking said hair dryer.)
- Email chaos—No matter how hard I try, when I finally sit down to pay the email pied piper, I find important things that should not have been neglected FROM A MONTH AGO.
- Refrigerator chaos—I would describe it for you but then you would excommunicate me from the human race.
- Workroom chaos—Currently in this room, we are: working on a puzzle, finishing a science fair project, watching as 87 pieces of clothing hang to dry, working on 957 other random projects, doing watercolors, eating lunch, and prepping for a webinar tonight. ALL IN ONE ROOM. That is approximately 12×14. And holds a washer/dryer/2 printers/2 computers/2-4 people/1 million books. #goodtimes
- Paperwork chaos—It’s tax gathering time. Which means I now need to collect all the receipts in the free world and take them to my accountant. This activity could put me in the ground.
- More chaos which would only bore you and further incriminate me1
I confess all that for a reason. As a funtional first born and an overachiever, I don’t like it when it appears I’m slacking on my job. I like to measure up, to exceed everyone’s expectation of everything. I’m always secretly measuring myself but what I keep forgetting is that all the important things are things that can’t be measured, that no one sees. I try to measure them anyway. Am I becoming a better wife? Am I becoming more spiritual? Am I growing in my faith? Am I growing as a mother? Am I managing my own life well? That’s part of my list and I bet yours looks similar. Today, I didn’t measure up.
I look around and see so many things that are always tending toward disorder. And if I don’t tend to them daily, they feel like the weight of the world. When I got up this morning, I knew it was all waiting for me. I slept in until 5, probably subconsciously to delay the inevitable. The dishes from last night’s Super Bowl food were still in the sink. I missed two deadlines and needed to get those projects sent in first thing. Twenty packages waiting to be mailed.
But I promised myself that February would be about the small things—the daily disciplines that don’t seem like much at the time, but when compounded over a lifetime make a world of difference. So I shut out the voices and sat down with some true nourishment. I read this with my daughter:
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
We stopped right there. Because I wanted to hear it again, “Your name is near.” That phrase has been like a balm for me today. His name is near. His name is near.
Then I made breakfast and sat down to enjoy it. Then I wrote in my journal. I wrote “His name is NEAR.”
And finally I started in on the chores for the day, but with help. Because His name is near. And I will always have a tendency to let my creative pursuits cause me to neglect all else. Things will always have the tendency toward chaos. I will never be finished with my work. I will never really conquer the laundry pile. But I will always have a comforter because the Name that is above every name is near to me. He put His name on me at my baptism and welcomes me to His table every Sunday. He makes promises to me in his Name that He keeps.
The one thing I did right today had nothing to do with my to-do list. It had nothing to do with productivity or efficiency.
The one thing I did right today was to stop talking and measuring and just listen.
To the One whose name is near, Christ—the living God.
And speaking of living in your calling in the midst of chaos, I’m doing a series of Lenten devotionals beginning February 18th by email only. You will get near daily emails from me during Lent with a couple of videos. If you’d like to be a part of it, you can join by filling out the form below!
Yes. So much. Thank you! I needed to hear this today!
Kristin S says
And, that’s why I have the word ‘near’ tattooed on my foot. My weak left foot.
Michele @ The Joyful Home says
Wow- this totally hit home for me. I struggle constantly with wanting everything in my life to be “done” and wondering whether I’m actually making progress. How comforting to be reminded that Jesus is near me through it all. He is enough!
Edie, thanks so much. I’ve been in such a bad state lately. I’m fighting Lyme disease (and currently losing) and for the past year the most physical thing I’ve done is laundry. I keep wondering “Lord, what is the purpose of this mess? I can’t serve you from this recliner.” I have been tearfully reading your posts. Again, thank you for helping me re-find my current purpose.
Edie Wadsworth says
Bless you friend.
Praying for you today.
Lisa M. says
Boy this resonated with me today. Wonderful words, thank you. is there any way to get that C.S. Lewis quote in a printable?
Edie Wadsworth says
Let me work on that Lisa!
Hehe… I feel the same way. I have a week off work to take care of my post surgery baby and I have been running so hard it feels like a break. That is sad…so I am doing the same: laundry piles, refrigerator mess, closet chaos, etc…feels overwhelming yet He is near…Thanks for sharing!
thanks again for sharing, edie.
needed to hear this.
Julie D. says
How did you see into my house and heart? Thank you for always pointing to Christ. I need that.
Edie Wadsworth says
We are all so the same.
This is so good, Edie. So, so good.
I love your intention to make February about the small things. “Never stop starting,” my friend. 🙂
Edie Wadsworth says
Angie Quantrell says
Hi, Edie. My cousin, Ginger, told me about your blog and how we would love each other’s blogs! I do love yours. Signed up to get it as email. Mine is at angiequantrell.blogspot.com. Happy writing!
I just came across your website (while searching carrara marble) and am in love. I can’t wait to sift through your site and see what you have to say next!
Wow! I stumbled across your blog and read exactly what I needed to hear. It’s only my boyfriend and I in a pretty big house and I have no time for relaxing. If I’m not working on my blog I’m working on marketing, or washing clothes, or sweeping, mopping dusting, or cooking, or home repairs or… There is never anytime for me to relax. I realize I can take the time but I also hold myself up to my own standards and constantly check mental lists that never seem to get checked. I’ve been listening to gospel and it helps me get through my day by reminding me I am a child of God and he never give me more than I can handle. Thank you for sharing this heart felt post. The passage speaks to me. Blessings!
Jane Hinchliffe says
Hi Edie, I just popped over from Jeanne Oliver’s site after watching you on your videos. How fantastic you are at sharing what’s important, what’s real and what’s fundamental to a life well lived. Oh and I loved your soup recipe too. Take care Edie – love from a little village in the Yorkshire Dales, England, Jane x PS. I’ve also just subscribed to your podcast – yay!
I think that you were peeking into our home. Thank you for sharing that He is near. Such a wonderful reminder and glimpse of the One who holds us in His heart.
What happened to February?!? Ugh. All of these snow days in a row and I am quacking like a duck! Time to begin anew anew! I love your blog…makes feel like I’ve got company…in other women…and in Jesus!! Thank you!
What a great, great, read. I really needed this today. The Lord is so kind to even send us to the right blog post on the right day. I have been feeling behind all day and that I am not accomplishing enough. BUT I was in the word. Thanks for the reminder that, that is what matters most
SO, it’s January 2017, not 2015 and yet your words are timeless. I didn’t realize you didn’t write this in 2017 until you mentioned your Super Bowl dishes in the sink.
I have the same feeling the end of every January. My creative pursuits have run ram shod over all else, and as I literally muck our stormed over sheep stalls I realize how much havoc chaos can reap.
Anyway, Happy New Year Edie, May the Lord be gracious to you and cause his face to shine upon you all your days,